Archive for Thursday, March 17, 2005

It’s off to Big D for LHS Band

Texas Stadium performance among highlights of spring break trip

March 17, 2005

Lansing High School band members will leave tonight for what band director Deb Steiner calls a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

One hundred and six students and 11 chaperones will board three busses to Dallas to take part in the Southwest Invitational.

At 3:15 p.m. Friday, the concert band will have the opportunity to perform at Meyerson Symphony Center, which is said to have the third best acoustic stage in the world.

"It'll be a completely different of a sound than what they are used to, practicing in the gym," Steiner said.

The marching band will perform at 9:30 a.m. Saturday on the field at Texas Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

"It's so cool to be on the field," Steiner said.

Students will appear on the stadium's Jumbotron screen and will get to change in the locker rooms used by professional football teams.

At one time, the band had been planning a spring break trip to San Antonio. But when Steiner came to the school in August, she changed that. She had gone to the Dallas festival last year when she was a band director at Gardner-Edgerton High School. She said she didn't want LHS band members to miss the opportunity.

Steiner said the switch was made easily because the festivals were on the same weekend.

While in Dallas, the band will compete against seven other high school bands from Florida, Texas, Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas; the teams from Florida and Missouri are each bringing two bands. Three judges will rate the bands on a one to three scale, with one being the best.

While in Dallas, the bands will visit the Hard Rock Cafe, The World Aquarium and Rainforest and the site of the JFK assassination as a part of a tour of a the city.

"It's a fun way to kick off spring break," Steiner said.

Her previous experience has helped her prepare the bands for what to expect at the festival. The marching band has been working on a method called eight-to-five marching where a member hits a yard line on every eighth step.

"It's a hard concept because everybody has to be thinking the same way," Steiner said.

The band also will get to perform as a whole group, which is rare, Steiner said. The concert band is usually divided into two groups that practice separately because the band is too big to fit into the band room all at once. Members have been rehearsing as a whole group at 7 a.m. Thursdays and once on Monday evening.

This is also an opportunity for the bands to make final adjustments, like on their accents, before the state competition in April.

"We will get feedback that we are not usually exposed to," Steiner said. "We have a lot of talent and ability, so I hope we play to our potential."

Band members paid for the trip, in part, with fund-raisers throughout the year.

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